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Sensex slips 1.6 pct, industrial output data disappoints

February 12, 2009

The BSE Sensex fell for the second consecutive day and ended 1.59 percent down on Thursday as an unexpected fall in industrial output data for December added to concerns over a deteriorating global economic outlook.

Index heavyweights like Reliance Industries (down 2.3 percent), Infosys (down 3.3 percent) and Bharti Airtel (down 3.5 percent) contributed to the fall.

Industrial output data fell 2 percent in December from a year earlier, the second fall in three months — further evidence of falling demand at home and abroad. In this scenario, more rate cuts by the RBI cannot be ruled out.

There was some respite as inflation fell to 4.39 percent at the end of January; the lowest in just over a year. Economists expect inflation to continue to fall for some time.

There was no respite for IT stocks. The BSE IT index extended losses by 2.4 percent. Infosys tumbled 3.39 percent while TCS fell 0.94 percent.

However, realty stocks did well in trade, sending the BSE Realty index up 1.3 percent. Shares in Ansal properties, DLF and Anant Raj Industries ended in the range of 2-5 pct.

Outsourcer Satyam closed down 2.23 percent at 46.10 rupees. Chairman Kiran Karnik outlined in a statement the bidding process for a possible sale of the company should start in the next 10 days.

Will the interim budget on Monday, expected to provide tax breaks and other incentives to bolster growth, bring back positive sentiment and boost the market?

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